As the executive chef of El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina’s Henderson and Mountain’s Edge locations, Lorena Telles knows a thing or two about cooking for large parties — especially on Cinco de Mayo.
“You want to create a menu that can be cooked quickly and easily,” she said. “Keep it simple and choose dishes you’re confident in.”
Perhaps that’s why many of the traditional Mexican dishes Telles learned to cook as a child are now served at El Luchador. Everything from the salsa to the marinade used for the pastor tacos is made from family recipes taught to Telles by her mother and grandmother. While several menu items — like the mole sauce — are far from simple to create, they’ve become easy over time for Telles because of her repeated experience making them.
“We’ve done our best to create a menu that not only showcases traditional Mexican staples but also highlights some unique twists that may not be found elsewhere,” Telles said. “Everything is fresh, made daily, and — most importantly — tastes amazing!”
For those who’d rather go out to celebrate the holiday, El Luchador will have food and drink specials throughout May 5. In fact, the restaurant regularly offers daily specials, like $3 Taco Tuesday, so guests can act like it’s Cinco de Mayo every day!
Dishes to Try:
Triple Threat Chimichanga
Elote en Plato
Crispy Chicken Taquitos
El Luchador’s crispy chicken taquitos are perfect for any at-home Cinco de Mayo celebration; as Telles noted, “it’s a dish that can easily be cooked for large groups and is always a crowd favorite.”
o ¼ cup dark chili powder
o ¼ cup light chili powder
o ¼ cup ground cumin
o ¼ cup granulated garlic
o 1 tbsp. granulated onion
o 2 tbsp. kosher salt
o 1 tbsp. paprika
o 5 lbs. chicken thighs
o 1 cup vegetable oil
o Pico de gallo
o Avocado crema
o Shredded lettuce
o Soft tortillas
1. Mix spices together, then add the chicken thighs, ensuring they’re properly seasoned.
2. Pour into an oven-safe dish and cover with foil.
3. Leave in the oven at 325 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.
4. Remove from oven and make sure the chicken is completely cooked (internal temperature of cooked chicken cannot be any lower than 165 degrees).
5. Shred the chicken once cooled down.
6. Place shredded chicken horizontally across the center of a soft tortilla, then roll.
7. To keep the taquitos in place, pierce them with two medium-length bamboo skewers fitting between two to three taquitos, or mix a little bit of water and flour to make a thick paste and seal the taquitos with that.
8. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep sauté pan until it reaches 350 degrees, then carefully place taquitos in the oil until they turn golden brown.
9. Strain the extra oil, serve with avocado crema, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and cotija on top, and enjoy!